Is a first look just for portraits? | FAQ Friday

 Shot while second shooting for Savannah Smith Photography | . Shot while second shooting for Savannah Smith Photography | .

The wedding industry sure has some crazy lingo floating around, and I know it can get confusing! If you’re in the process of planning your wedding, you’ve probably heard of a first look and have maybe even considered doing one on your wedding day! {Or, maybe you have super strong opinions about not doing a first look on your wedding day}.

One of the first questions I am asked by prospective clients usually has to do with a first look. Whether they want to know what it is or why they may want to opt into seeing each other before their ceremony begins, the first look topic is always discussed during our initial meet and greet consultation.

Simply put, a first look is a private moment for the bride and groom to see each other and enjoy each other’s presence before their walk down the aisle.

It is so important to me that your first look is completely private. You’re getting married! It is an amazing day, and I know people will be so excited to meet, greet and congratulate you! However, it is so important to me that your first look is truly a time treasure your first moments together on the day you become man and wife. We’ll keep things private and intimate, so you can focus on what the day is truly about–you two and your love!

We will set aside a block of time for you and your love to spend a bit of time together before you walk down the aisle. First looks aren’t just for portraits. While, yes, you will get to spend more time as a couple in front of the camera, this isn’t the only thing that a first look is good for. Whether you’re reading letters to each other, saying vows, resting in each other’s arms, or are telling your love just how amazing they look, I have personally found that a first look is one of the sweetest and most peaceful moments of the entire day that really helps to put your day-of jitters at ease.

 Shot while second shooting for Erika Brown | . Shot while second shooting for Erika Brown | .

A quick disclaimer before we get this started! My clients are not required to do a first look by any means. However, I do highly recommend them, and for a good reason! Trust me when I say that first looks are really not just for portraits. There are SO many amazing reasons to opt into doing a first look, and today, we are going to dive into three of my favorites.

 Shot while second shooting for Elizabeth Marie Photography | . Shot while second shooting for Elizabeth Marie Photography | .

1. Ease your stress and nerves: Your wedding day is such a highly anticipated day! You’ve been planning for months, and dreaming about it for years. You are so excited to spend forever with your love, and that day is finally here! YAY!

But, with all this good can come a lot of jitters! Real talk…odds are, deliveries and details and whether or not your entire family is going to show up on time for formals is on your mind. You’re thinking about standing in front of all your nearest and dearest, and dear God…IT REALLY IS YOUR WEDDING DAY! It is totally normal to feel nervous, but add in the fact that you’re not going to see your love all day? Well, that is enough for the jitters to get the better of anyone.

What better way to ease your stress and put your mind at ease than spending a little bit of time with the one you’re about to marry? With the one that puts you at ease and knows just how to make you giggle? Tension can be pretty high on a wedding day, and I have seen it just melt away with just the tap of a shoulder, a spin, and a big hug.

 Shot while second shooting for Savannah Smith Photography | . Shot while second shooting for Savannah Smith Photography | .

2. You’ll spend more time with each other on your wedding day: Call me crazy, but your wedding day is about you and the one you’re about to marry, right? What if I told you that, without a first look, many couples spend the majority of their wedding day away from each other? Pretty crazy to think about! But, do the math…if your ceremony starts at 4 or 5 PM, you spend all day getting ready, greeting family, prepping details, sipping champagne, and will then finally get to see your love, hours and hours later during your ceremony. I’m sure you’ll spend every moment apart, thinking about them and wishing you were celebrating the day together. For me, that just breaks my heart! You have spent so much time planning this incredible day and building a beautiful future together. You deserve to enjoy this day side-by-side with your favorite person!

A first look truly extends the time you are able to spend with your partner on your wedding day. I have heard quite a few couples say that their first look was the only time that they were able to step back and enjoy the presence of their bride or groom, without the pressure or stress of an audience. Don’t get me wrong, it is amazing to celebrate your love and your future together with your family and friends! However, it is also so special to spend a little bit of time, just the two of you together, where you can really embrace just how amazing your wedding day truly is!

Again, on the notion that first looks aren’t just for portraits…I have seen couples exchange vows, pray together, grooms spin their bride around as he sees his her in a wedding gown for the very first time {YES, it is totally okay to tell her how great she looks!}, laugh, cry, and just embrace how special of a day it is. My point is, this is YOUR time to do whatever YOU want with! Sure, we will start portraits soon after, but your first look time for you to just enjoy and be with the one you love most. {I’ll just be a fly on the wall!}

 Shot while second shooting for Erika Brown | Shot while second shooting for Erika Brown |

3. Get ahead on portraits to enjoy more of your day: Ok…so this one does kind of involve photography, but the WHY behind it is so much bigger than portraits. I worked as a second shooter on a wedding where we shot most bride and groom portraits, all of the family formal portraits AND the bridal party portraits BEFORE the ceremony even began. Whaaa?! It was unreal!

Not only were the bride and groom’s families free to enjoy cocktail hour {no need to track Uncle Bill down at the bar, after he ran from the ceremony site to grab a quick drink!}, but the wedding party was able to relax, breathe a little bit, and grab a drink before the excitement of the reception began. The bride and groom had a few married portraits taken, and they were then free to enjoy the company of their guests at cocktail hour. Their portraits were done before their guests even arrived, so they were able to spend more time with the people that are most important to them.

It sounds crazy, but this doesn’t happen a lot! I don’t know about you, but if I have all of my favorite people in one place for one day only, I want to spend a little bit of time with them! Yes, portraits are important, and I do love to set aside plenty of time for them as your photographer. However, enjoying your wedding day with the people you love is even more important! A first look really helps to maximize your time, not only with your photographer, but also with your guests.

 Shot while second shooting for With Love by Georgie | . Shot while second shooting for With Love by Georgie | .

I could just go on and on and on about why I LOVE first looks so much, but I am going to leave it there! Trust me when I say that it is OKAY to break the tradition of seeing your groom for the first time as you walk down the aisle. Think about it, and decide what is truly right for YOU as a couple.

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